International Security Management and the United Nations

International Security Management and the United Nations

International Security Management and the United Nations

International Security Management and the United Nations


What kind of comparative advantage does the United Nations hold in the field of security compared to other actors such as states and regional organizations? What kind of asset does the United Nations have in terms of normative as well as operational capacities that states and regional arrangements lack? What asset does the United Nations possess to effectively deal with security issues? These are some of the questions addressed in this book. Obviously, the ability of the United Nations to ease conflicts depends upon the support of Member States. Therefore it is imperative to know what states expect from the world body. As a result, this book also explores the following questions: What is the vision of the Member States and specifically of the major powers? What kind of vision do states have for the United Nations in the field of security? How can the United Nations minimize the volatility and even reluctance of Member States support in the field of security? How is it possible to organize and secure a real and effective partnership between the United Nations and Member States regarding conflict prevention and conflict management? At a time when security issues are changing and becoming increasingly complex to address, this will prove to be very useful for students and practitioners of international affairs.


Organization and background of the “UN21” project

The papers in this volume were presented at a symposium hosted by the United Nations University in Tokyo on 8 and 9 November 1996. They represent an instalment of a multi-year project launched by the United Nations University in 1995, the purpose of which is to stimulate thinking about the United Nations in the twenty-first century. In 1996 we addressed the theme of “Peace and Security” for discussion and analysis. The assignment was to consider some of the following questions.

In the twenty-first century, what conditions will be necessary to build and maintain peace? Can the United Nations act as an effective mediator? Why do some peace-keeping operations succeed, and others fail? Should the United Nations adopt a traditional approach to peace-making, or a more comprehensive strategy incorporating conflict management, peacekeeping, and conflict prevention?

Our presumption is that the international system is in a state of flux, and that the United Nations must adapt both institutionally and philosophically to a new, as yet amorphous global order.

The current structure, roles, and functions of the United Nations reflect the international system that emerged at the end of the Second World War. This system initially gave great prominence to the United Nations. One power, the United States, was dominant in the immediate post-war period, and it used the United Nations as its proxy to uphold economic . . .

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